Fred Davis appeared on his way to having a monster game on Sunday, recording three catches for 53 yards and a touchdown on the Washington Redskins’ game-opening scoring drive against the Seattle Seahawks. But from that point on, the tight end had only one more catch for five yards.
Statistically, it may have appeared like a drop-off in production, but Davis will tell you he remained just as productive the rest of the game, just in a different area: run blocking.
“We started focusing on the run-game more and it was working, so you don’t leave something that’s working. [Roy] Helu was running hard,” Davis said before later adding. “It’s expected of you and you can’t always get the ball, you have to help other people get plays, too.”
In his first full season as a starter, Davis has worked to improve in several areas, including conditioning and route-running, so he could become more effective while shouldering a heavy workload. But he also has worked to develop his run-blocking skills, since nowadays he rarely leaves the field and is utilized in all facets of the game.
“I feel like I block a lot better,” says the 6-foot-4, 258-pound Davis, who leads Washington with 53 catches for 697 yards and three touchdowns. “Even from this whole season, I feel a lot better run-blocking wise than in the past. I don’t want to be a one-sided tight end that can only catch. But I feel good.
“I haven’t had any sacks on me, and I pass protect against the best,” Davis added with a laugh. “I feel pretty good.”
Davis said he believes he catches opponents off-guard with his blocking skills because of his more slender frame.
“I like blocking. It’s kinda fun because defensive ends don’t expect I’ll be able to block them because of my size, but I’m pretty strong,” Davis grinned.
The fourth-year pro knows he still has improvements to make in the run-blocking department. Because of his lack of size, and the fact that he often goes against defensive ends that weigh anywhere from 280 to 300 pounds, he has to focus on using good technique.
“For me, I have to stay on a guy longer because I’m smaller,” Davis said. “I have to finish the play or I’ll get taken advantage of.”